Learning To Be Content: Mexico Edition
They say that traveling is good for the soul. i visited Mexico for Christmas break and it was painfully awesome. Libier, what you are saying, doesn't make sense? How can something hurt and be awesome? Do you know the feeling of working out HARD for the first time and the next few days you wish you never resolved to move your body at all? Yes. That feeling of sore muscles is painful, yet utterly satisfying, right? I believe the same was true for me with traveling back to a land that was once my home and after 18 years of not going back, felt, estranged. I went on an adventure with my husband and two little girls to Mexico City to visit my siblings and mom, I hadn't seen them in six years (they had come to visit us in the U.S. when I had Maddy). The thing about adventure is that you never can predict what will happen: I leave you with one of the many lessons I learned on the streets of my beautiful hometown.
The art of contentment:
Mexico city was more beautiful and full of life than I could have ever imagined. So much color so many tacos! Oh the tacos!! I am so delighted to be Mexican! You know, growing up, I often heard that Mexico wasn't as great as America. That there were better things in the U.S.A. - that more opportunity stood in American soil. I believe that soil has very little to do with someone's resolve to be excellent at something. I believe that it isn't about where you live as much as what thoughts are feeding your brain and what values and aspirations are in your heart! I came back being sure that not one country is better or worse than any other, just like people, we are just different. I am now a full believer in #travel! Watch out all you veteran Jet-setters, the sky just got a little more Libiery. That was so weird... ok, I'm done.
I loved Mexico and every lesson it taught me. I was so affected by the lack of water that ran through my brother's Mexico city apartment. I came from a place in California that claims to be in a drought, yet, I can run all three of my toilets at once AND run a bath- whilst washing the dishes and doing a load of laundry. Scarcity? Not from my new found perspective. As early as eleven A.M. my brother's building stopped having ANY running water, at all. The first day I took an armpit bath (yum)! My mind was boggled that this is their current situation EVERY day, granted they don't have a million visitors in their apartment every day and I am sure they budget the water differently when it's just them. BUT still! Water is important! It was such a humbling experience. Hardly any water for ANYTHING... Yet my brother and his family were full of joy and kindness that blessed my family beyond what they could even perceive. They were so welcoming and opened the doors of their hearts and home to us, fully embracing us every day we were there! You know that you have no clue what you don't have until you don't have it. It's been difficult living so far away from my family for so many years. But here's what found. I believe that we can find contentment in all situations. Painful ones, moments of lack, moments of plenty, moments of joy! Contentment is surely a gift from above.
It was such a nice exclamation point to experience the lack of water for me. This year specifically, God and I have been working on my gratitude and on my contentment. How easy it is to enter into complaint. How easy for me to dance with the thought that, "I need more to be happy" More clothes, more fun, more success, more, more, more. To be honest with you, I grew up poor. However, I never felt poor. I am no longer poor in comparison to the rest of the world, And in the past few years of pursuing Jesus, I have never felt richer than when I am unabashedly at his feet, letting him tend to every hurt inside my soul. To be quite honest with you, in my most intense emotionally painful seasons is when I've felt the most richly blessed with the presence of God. When good times come, it is so easy for me to forget what is truly important. I begin to rely on myself again. I begin the tango of 'the rat race'. I believe it's a choice; To feel content or not. It's a choice. It's been painful process to heal and see what parts of me were not content. Yet, the lessons God has taught have been worth every tear and pain. And the one lesson that continues to bless me is to be grateful and content, no matter my situation. God can turn ANY thing around and make it a blessing only HE can do.
May your day be full of contentment and joy, today! I love you, go be awesome, because you are!